Prosecutors won’t retry Kansas City man for 2003 murder | national news

Prosecutors announced Friday they would not seek to retry a Kansas City man after the Missouri Supreme Court overturned his conviction because the case is “tainted on all sides.”

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement there was insufficient evidence to prove Keith Carnes fatally shot rival drug dealer Larry White, 24, in 2003 in a parking lot. of Kansas City.

The announcement came just three days after the Missouri Supreme Court put aside First-degree murder convictions and armed felony action by Carnes, ordering him to be released from prison within 30 days unless prosecutors decide to retry him.

One of the issues was that a special handler who looked into the case found that Kansas City police had failed to give Carnes’ original defense team a report from a confidential informant who allegedly could lead to his exoneration.

Additionally, two witnesses who identified Carnes as the killer recanted their testimony in 2014, saying they were pressured by police and Jackson County prosecutors.

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Another witness also said the police intimidated him when they questioned him about the night of the murder. He said White had an argument with another drug dealer – not Carnes – and warned the other man not to return to his property shortly before the murder.

But in a twist to the case, one of the witnesses last year said her initial testimony was correct and said she recanted due to threats from Carnes supporters.

“Eyewitness testimony is being challenged with retractions, including a retraction of a retraction,” the prosecutor’s office said in the statement. “We also don’t have physical evidence to corroborate some eyewitness accounts.”

The statement was highly critical of Carnes supporters, alleging witnesses were coerced into recanting or changing their testimony.

“In short, the evidence today in the Carnes case is tainted on all sides,” the statement said.

The statement said the case remains under investigation, adding that witnesses said there was a second person present when White was killed. The press release indicates that the police would like to know the identity of this person.

“We will continue to fight for justice for Mr. White and this community,” the statement said, adding that the family continues to believe Carnes was one of the killers.

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